Thursday, July 2

A Global Neuromancer

"Neuromancer is now more than 30 years old, a considerable time to remain a classic. Its publication in the Orwellian year will seem ironic and laden with symbolism only for those who think Orwell has remained a classic, or that he had anything to do with science fiction or reflected any serious political thought. But at least in one respect the juxtaposition is useful in showing how dystopia can swing around into the utopian without missing a beat, the way depression can without warning become euphoria. Indeed, I’ve suggested elsewhere that much of what is called cyberpunk (which begins with Neuromancer) is utopian and driven by the 'irrational exuberance' of the ’90s and a kind of romance of feudal commerce; but I had Bruce Sterling in mind rather than the more sober Gibson, whose postmodern overpopulation ('the sprawl') comes before us rather neutrally, even though its tone is radically different from the older Malthusian warnings of Harrison and Brunner. ..."
Public Books
W - Neuromancer
amazon: Neuromancer

2010 September: Cyberpunk, 2010 October: Bruce Sterling, 2011 July: William Gibson, 2015 May: Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology - edited by Bruce Sterling (1986)